Delighted to welcome Karyn Sepulveda to share with us what inspired her to write her new novel The Women’s Circle.
Plus, thanks to the lovely people at Ventura Press we have an ebook copy of The Women’s Circle to giveaway – entry open to Australian & New Zealand residents.
Disclosure: If you click a link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission.
The Women’s Circle: Karyn Sepulveda’s inspiration
I went to my first Women’s Circle a few years ago and I knew from the moment I walked in, that I would have to include the experience in a book one day. The room was dimly lit with dozens of scented candles, colourful cushions were arranged in a circle that surrounded a centrepiece of stunning crystals and for the next hour, I shared in the stories and emotions of women I had never met before. We cried and laughed together and by the end, were hugging one another like long-lost friends. It was an incredibly healing and inspirational experience.
“I began wondering what kind of impact an experience like a women’s circle could have on vulnerable women – could it change their life? “
The character of Anna came to me as a young woman who became caught up in the drug-addicted world of ice and ended up in jail. The book starts with her release and follows her on her healing journey as she attempts to integrate back into society.
Anna’s experience with drugs was something that I absorbed from people in my life who had suffered addiction; I knew the sense of hopelessness experienced during recovery and I wanted to share that. A particular influence was the devastating loss of a daughter that her mother shared with me after a long, painful battle with heroin and prescription drugs. I wanted to share a little of the dark, lonely and hidden world of drug addiction – but to change the ending to one of hope.
Because I love to read dual timelines, this was the style I wanted for my book. So, I began to brainstorm eras that I’d enjoy writing about and how that could possibly fit in with Anna’s journey. I had a flash of an image in my mind to that first women’s circle I went to and the centrepiece of crystals. I imagined a mysterious, psychic connection between Anna and a character from a past timeline. Aisleen and her 1770 village came to me very easily and I actually wrote her entire timeline in one go before I’d even properly started Anna’s story with little thought to how the two stories would intertwine. In hindsight, this worked perfectly, because as I wrote Anna’s story, I could include clear moments to fit Aisleen’s chapters.
“I am fascinated by the connection of women throughout time. I believe our energy is connected; that we hold in our cells the trauma of the women who went before us, along with their strength and hope.“
It was exciting to explore this with an imagined physical connection (the crystal) – imagine if we could actually see the lives of the women who lived before us and paved the way; what would that mean for our own existence? When women, such as Anna, are in such a dark place, it is often hard to imagine that women have suffered so much more than this and survived – and that they too can survive.
I felt a strong purpose of spreading connection and compassion when writing The Women’s Circle. Compassion for the hidden sufferings of people. When we meet someone, we have no idea what they have been through and I enjoyed diving deeply into Anna’s past to explore what led her to de-railing her life in such a devastating way. And the connection between humans, both the seen and unseen – not only in our own lifetime but in the generations that lived before us.
The Women’s Circle Synopsis
Sometimes Healing Can Take a Lifetime
Sydney, present day. Anna is released into the world after eight years in prison. The entirety of her possessions stuffed into a single plastic bag. The trauma of her past, a much heavier burden to carry. Feeling hopeless, isolated and deeply lonely, Anna attends an alternative support group; The Women’s Circle. But when she touches an ancient crystal, Anna connects to a woman she has never met, in a past she doesn’t recognise.
In 1770, a brutal regime torments the English village of Quarrendon and is determined to keep its women apart. Young villager Aisleen desperately seeks a way to defy the rules, reunite with her sister, and live life on her own terms, without her husband’s permission. The stakes are high and terror of punishment inescapable, but doing nothing comes at an even steeper price…
While separated by generations, Anna finds herself drawn to the spine-chilling and courageous plight of Aisleen and Quarrendon’s women. Can their bond help her to face her past and embrace her second chance at life?
A heart-warming and inspirational portrayal of inner strength and vulnerability, The Women’s Circle shows us the true power of female friendship in all its forms.
“I inhaled this deeply moving story of two brave women, each with their own cross to bear, separated by time and circumstance but connected by the healing power of the sisterhood. Read it, share it with your girlfriends and let it transport you!” – Tess Woods
(Ventura Press, July 2021)
Get your copy of The Women’s Circle from:
More thought-provoking contemporary fiction:
As Swallows Fly by L P McMahon / Revenge: Murder in Three Parts by S L Lim / The Museum of Forgotten Memories by Anstey Harris / Bruny by Heather Rose / Night Blue by Angela O’Keeffe
About the Author, Karyn Sepulveda
Karyn Sepulveda is an author, podcast producer and creator of short, guided meditations. Through writing about characters triumphing over adversity, interviewing women about their strengths and designing meditations that help the listener tap into their own creativity, Karyn hopes to spread compassion and connection. Her website: www.karynsepulveda.com
The Women’s Circle eBook Giveaway
We have an ebook copy of Karyn Sepulveda’s The Women’s Circle to giveaway. Entries open to Australian & New Zealand residents only; closes 18 August 2021.
See entry form below. Ensure you scroll to the bottom of this form and press submit to register your entry. You can improve your chance of winning by:
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The lucky winner will be randomly selected and announced on our Facebook Page.
SORRY, ENTRIES CLOSED – See winner announcement.